June 29, 2011

2008 Chablis

Seems there has been some noise lately about the 2008 vintage in Chablis. Eric Asimov at the New York Times recently did a piece on 2008 Chablils and some of the superstar producers behind the wines.

Chablis is a funny place; it's not serious enough for real white Burgundy enthusiasts, and it's a somewhat neglected area of Burgundy. Chablis is the northernmost region of Burgundy and the region produces wine made exclusively from the Chardonnay grape. I'm a buyer of Chablis; and have a nice little collection of serious Chablis wines in my cellar. In the world of white Burgundy that is marred by issues with premox and escalating prices, Chablis is often a smart buy for Burgundian Chardonnay as good-to-great bottles can be hand for under $50.
I recently tried a couple of my 2008 Chablis from two of the finer vineyards in Chablis. The Premier Cru Montee Tonnerre from John-Paul & Benoit Droin, and the Grand Cru Vaudesir (one of only seven Grand Cru in Chablis) from Christian Moreau, are both excellent representations of Chablis.

The Droin is already rather approachable despite its youth. It's full of  floral notes and slightly smoky on the nose, and crisp and fresh on the palate with lemon and mineral notes. The Droin is available locally at Ansley Kroger for $30. While that may seem like a lot, it's worth it.

The Moreau, from the Grand Cru Vaudesir, drinks like a young Grand Cru Chablis. It's a mouthful of powerful, teeth-cleaning acid and really strong slate flavors. It's almost tough to drink now as it's so wound up, but it it's poised for greatness a few years down the road.


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